Fall time is hunting time for many, so also for us. However, the kind of hunting fit for people that are not very good to handle guns and the like. Tartufo, or truffle, hunting is a great activity involving fresh air, dog, a guide, and, hopefully, some tartufo bianco (white truffle) at the end.
Tartufo hunting is so much more though, truffle fair in Alba, Wine cellar visits, lunches, and dinners. Here’s our top 4 wines from this weekend:
86 Bartolo Mascarello Barolo, opened by Maria Teresa two hours before we tasted it (she apologised about that): Beautiful color, tobacco, earthy, mushroom, tar, and tarfufo (may have been influenced by the weekend) aromas, velvety in the mouth, silky tannins, and more than enough acidity left to suggest many more years for this great wine.
98 Mauro Veglio Barolo Vigneta Arborina: Opened at the table (La Libera), served in decanter. Typically the darker color of Mauro’s Barolos, sweet fruit, tar, and tobacco aromas, elegant, and a wine that begs another sip.
91 Luciano Sandrone Barolo Le Vigne: Opened at the table, served in bottle. Starting to “lose” color, brick-rim, earty and mushroom aromas, acidity about to go missing. Still managed to stand up to the food, and it was not all “gone”. Suggest drinking now, if more unopened bottles in your cellar.
99 Bricco Rocche Barolo Prapo: Never a big fan of Cerretto (except their glass cube) and oaky wines, this was a pleasant surprise. Opened at the table, served in bottle. Dried fruit, licorice, mint, and a hint of floral aromas. Tannins still a tad hard, but found it more balanced than I expected. Acidity, color, and fruitiness suggest a long life for this 99 barolo from Cerretto.
Of the 2008 Barolos tasted, Luigi Pira’s Vigna Rionda and Bartolo Mascarello’s Barolo were both great, and I am still a bit puzzled why Tre Bicchieries did not go these wines’ way.